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From The Vicar - November 2020

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In last month’s newsletter, I wrote of our hopes and plans around Outdoor Church (for children and the young at heart) and outdoor worship.

We held our first Outdoor Church service outside St Giles’, Horspath in September.  This was followed, in October, with a pet blessing service outside St Giles’ which included pet blessings, remembering pets we have loved and lost, and searching the churchyard for wildlife.  Although I had hoped to launch Outdoor Church in Cuddesdon with a pet blessing service too, this has not been possible at this time, due to concerns over social distancing and coronavirus risks.  Nevertheless, it was lovely to see several families from Cuddesdon join us in Horspath for Outdoor Church in September and October.  We will continue to review the situation, and hope to launch Outdoor Church in Cuddesdon when it is safe to do so.

It is inadvisable to hold traditional Acts of Remembrance at village war memorials this year, due to COVID-19 infection rates.  Instead, we will hold a short Act of Remembrance inside All Saints’ during our Communion Service on Remembrance Sunday; and at our Outdoor Church service, in Horspath, on Saturday 14th November we will think about remembrance and peace.  Perhaps you would like to display a picture of a poppy, or a dove, in your window throughout November, just as many people displayed rainbows during lockdown earlier this year?

It is difficult to make plans for Advent and Christmas this year, but we hope to hold a Service of Music and Readings for Advent at All Saints on Sunday 29 November; an Outdoor Church Christingle Service at St Giles’ on Sunday 6 December; a Crib Service in All Saints on Christmas Eve; and our usual Midnight Mass and Christmas Day Communion Services.  Please look out for further details in the December newsletter, and on church and village noticeboards.

The Church of England ‘theme’ for Advent 2020 is ‘Comfort and Joy’, and I encourage us all to reflect upon how we might bring comfort and joy to our neighbours in Cuddesdon, Denton, Chiselhampton and beyond in the month of December.  Perhaps angel pictures in our windows, or even Advent Calendar window displays, with a different picture and message each day?  And perhaps you might consider a Reverse Advent Calendar where – instead of taking out a chocolate each day – you donate an item of food, confectionary or toiletries to the Community Emergency Foodbank or to Asylum Welcome?

As winter approaches, many of us will struggle with loneliness, depression and other mental health issues, so let’s all consider what we can do to spread a little Comfort and Joy, and to light up our village, during the dark months of winter.

God bless

Karen